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With a few quick swipes of your knife, you can transform an eggplant into an elegant side dish.

Food Network host Nikki Dinki has a new cookbook out that spotlights vegetables without leaving meat in the dust. Meat on the Side is a nod to the increasing popularity of the “flexitarian” diet, which typically uses meat as an accent to hearty, plant-based fare. Get into great habits with this new collection of vibrant recipes.

When I was young I was obsessed with paper fans. They were so elegant and exotic, and I often pictured myself grown-up, in a long dress, fanning myself on some grand terrace. Obviously, I had recently watched Gone With the Wind or something along that line. Well, my vision never exactly came true, but I still do love fans — eggplant fans, that is. A couple of cuts with your knife, and you have the most elegant light meal or side dish. The eggplant becomes tender and slightly crispy, and with the creamy dressing and breadcrumbs, it is indulgent and comforting. These eggplant fans are much better than any paper fan and obviously much tastier.

Reprinted with permission from Meat on the Side